How much further can you go on a tank of petrol?
My latest graph based obsession is fuel economy. After doing a film for Watchdog on it a few months ago (based on the cheap petrol guide), I wanted to see if I could further drive down my costs with a simple challenge: how far can I go on a tank? This isn’t my first foray into petrol...
“No sorry, don’t worry, it’s not my phone number”
It wasn’t that surprising, I’d reached across the table to the unknown woman sitting opposite me at the coffee bar, and handed her a small ripped off piece of paper I’d written something on. She started to look slightly askance – and only then did I realise what it looked like, pulled myself up and said, “oops,...
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrel – Book List update
I’ve reached page 1006, finished the story and closed the book. I’m left with that slight feeling of loss I always get at the end of a long novel I’ve been engrossed in. My top ten summer reads list from earlier in the year’s a mix of historic novels and science fantasy, so imagine my delight at...
Do you read on the loo?
Is this a male/female divide issue? I was having this discussion the other day with friends, and while the men saw it as the most natural thing in the world, the women thought it abhorrent. I suggested to Mrs MSE that we place a few of our easy to pick-up and put down books in the downstairs...
Compulsory Financial Education Campaign – Part II (ta News of the World)
Compulsory personal finance education in schools was days away last year, then in the pre-election “wash-up” it got scuppered as a by-product of the parties’ disagreement on sex-ed. Now it’s time to re-kick-start it and, with the News of the World’s help, I hope we did a bit of that yesterday. This campaign needs to be set...
The marketing genius of Tesco double points
When do double points become single points? The ‘temporary’ increase in Tesco reward points so customers earn double the prior amount was introduced in August 2009, so when will the ‘double’ novelty wear off? Stop to think about it and it’s sheer marketing genius. I’m not knocking the scheme; people certainly get more points per pound than...
Do you know what a spendthrift is? Most don’t!
Filming for Watchdog yesterday, we discussed using this word in what we were doing, but I was resolutely against it as I thought most people didn’t know what it meant. So to prove it we did a couple of experiments, the result being not only did people not know, but they actually thought it was the opposite...
The Big Brother shopping task – a lesson for modern living?
It may’ve shifted far from its roots as a social experiment, but Big Brother still holds a certain fascination. Nothing for me is more visceral than the shopping task, where a group of adults need to co-operate on a difficult purchasing decision, and even with mega-brains Andrew and Mario they don’t always get it right. The Shopping...
Who overtook MSE as the biggest money site?
We racked our brains, but couldn’t for a second think of who. A couple of years ago I was surprised and a wee bit disappointed when MSE, having been ‘hitwise number 1’ in our category for a good while, suddenly became ‘hitwise number 2’…. Hitwise is the big web traffic measurement firm owned by Experian. After the news,...
I thought the gap in my teeth’d closed but it was just chilli con carne
There are some phrases you couldn’t make up if you tried, and this one from MSE Jenny is pure genius. Let me set the scene… MSE Jenny is the site’s senior writer; she’s a great journalist and has been working on the new top gold selling sites guide, doing an undercover investigation. As part of the article...
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Martin Lewis: Is it time to ban unnecessary Christmas presents?5 December 2022Update September 2017: It’s eight years since I first braved this subject, expecting a snowstorm of protest. Instead, year after year more join in, like Julia who recently tweeted me, “@MartinSLewis, finally took your advice and told my family I can’t afford Christmas presents. What a weight off my mind. Thank you.” One year even the Archbishop of...
Martin Lewis: The one thing everyone aged over 66 needs to know29 November 2022It is a national tragedy that getting on for a million pensioners, many of whom have been paying into the system for years, are missing out on a critical boost to their income. It's called pension credit, and this year it also means you get an extra £650 to help with energy bills.